BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Reviews Advertising For PainNot Laser RX
New York, NY – Feb. 13, 2008 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Suarez Corporation Industries, which markets the PainNOT Laser RX, has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims. However, ERSP recommended the marketer avoid future use of or modify certain other claims. Advertising for the PainNOT Laser RX came to the attention of ERSP through ERSP’s ongoing monitoring efforts.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).
ERSP’s inquiry focused on claims included in broadcast advertising. Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:
- • “Relieves Pain Without Drugs.”
- • ”European scientists developed cold laser technology over 25 years ago. It’s being used in over 30 countries and is backed up by over 1200 clinical studies. This technology has now arrived in the US, and is being used by medical professionals, and NBA, NFL, and Olympic athletes. Now for the first time this same amazing technology is available for you at home.”
- • “LED devices use old technology and very shallow penetration. The PainNOT laser penetrates 4 to 5 inches for deep pain relief and delivers far more photonic energy to the cells.”
- • “Research shows it relieves pain from arthritis, in your back, shoulder and knee, from tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, stress injuries, and more.”
- • “The only laser medical device for the treatment of pain that has been cleared
- for home use by the FDA.”
- • “It’s instant pain relief, put it right on the joints, put it right on my knee, put it on my back, put it on my shoulder. It’s instant pain relief, after 5 minutes of treatment it feels really good afterwards.” [A.G. K]
During the course of the ERSP review, the marketer informed ERSP that broadcast, print and online advertising for the product had been discontinued. However, because the marketer did not represent that the claims at issue would be not be used in future advertising, ERSP completed it review and recommendations.
ERSP determined that the research compiled on the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy provided a reasonable basis for the general performance claims communicated by Suarez.
However, ERSP determined that claims implying that the device is the “first” product in which this technology has been made available to consumers were inaccurately communicated and should not be used in future advertising. ERSP further recommended that the marketer avoid use of the claim “The PainNOT laser penetrates 4 to 5 inches for deep pain relief” in the absence of evidence indicating the precise penetration level of the device.
ERSP recommended that the marketer, in future advertising, clearly communicate that it is low-level laser technology and not the product itself which has been the subject of research and that the relief provided by the product is temporary.
ERSP determined the claim that the product is “The only laser medical device for the treatment of pain that has been cleared for home use by the FDA” should not be used in future advertising, as the FDA has previously cleared several handheld low level laser devices for relief of temporary pain conditions.
Finally, ERSP expressed concern about the “speed of relief” claims made in the consumer testimonials at issue and recommended that the marketer abide by section §255.2 of the Federal Trade Commission Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials relating to typicality of consumer experiences when using testimonials in its future advertising.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement said “…we believe that working with the ERSP has provided a thorough evaluation of the claims, great guidance and recommendations that we have accepted and will follow.”